June 13, 2023

Is Pap Good For An Ulcer Patient? 

Article fact-checked and approved by Dr. Didi Emokpare
Content provided in partnership with Radiant Health Magazine

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Pap, also known as Akamu, Ogi, or African corn pudding, can benefit individuals with ulcers. While there is no solid scientific proof of pap’s role in ulcer treatment, it’s a bland and easily digestible food often recommended for people with sensitive stomachs. Pap is made from cornmeal and water, providing a smooth, gentle texture on the stomach.  

One significant aspect of treating ulcers is being careful with your food because certain foods may have ingredients that fight against the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, a leading cause of ulcers. In contrast, other food ingredients do precisely the opposite.  

Pap is produced from dried corn or maize. Nigerians in the southeast call the semi-solid corn meal Akamu, but it’s known as Ogi in the southwest.  

There’s a widespread belief that Pap can help mitigate ulcer pain or even cure the ailment. Testimonies from patients are convincing, but does this mean they're true? Are there harmful effects? This article will provide answers to your questions.  

Note: You can talk to a doctor now online if you feel any sort of pain in your abdomen after taking pap.

The truth about taking pap as an ulcer patient 

When a patient is diagnosed with a stomach ulcer, tiny, too-big lesions, have developed on the lining of the patient’s stomach.  

This could be due to having an empty stomach (not eating) for extended periods, excessive pepper use, side effects of NSAID drugs, or the presence of Helicobacter pylori. 

At this stage, the patient’s stomach becomes sensitive, and it is advised to take only nutritious and easily digestible foods so they are gentle on the stomach. This is where Akamu or Pap comes in.  

The truth is that pap can ease ulcer discomfort and even enhance ulcer wound healing.  

However, it cannot cure them, as there are no medically proven results that corn meal can treat stomach hyperacidity and Helicobacter pylori, the significant players in ulcer formation.  

Is there scientific proof of Akamu’s role in treating peptic ulcers? 

No, there is no solid scientific backing for the claim that Akamu will treat peptic ulcers. For this reason, doctors do not categorically enlist it among the dietary solutions to curing the infection.  

However, the ulcer is an open sore that can hurt when you eat sugary, acidic, or spicy foods. So taking pap may be a good choice. It’s mild on the stomach because it’s minimal in acidity, sugar, fat, and spice. 

In other words, pap is a recommended meal for ulcer patients to reduce the pain that stomach ulcers can cause. But it’s not a dietary solution to treating the infection.  

How to Use Akanmu as an Ulcer Patient 

With only NGN50 every morning, you can prepare pap as a healthy breakfast to soften the pain of an ulcer. Follow these preparation procedures:  

Step 1: Dissolve the raw Akamu in a bowl. The raw Akamu will be sold to you in wraps.  

Step 2: Add hot water and mix it thoroughly with a spoon 

Step 3: Drink it without sugar. 

Remember, there is no dietary solution for ulcers. You’ll need to pair the pap with other medication as your doctor prescribes to get notable, faster changes.  

Is it good for ulcer patients to drink raw akamu (omidun)?

Drinking raw pap (commonly called Omidun) is unsuitable for ulcer patients. Contrary to popular belief, the liquid can worsen ulcer wounds and pains because it is highly acidic; the last thing you want to be in contact with is the already existing hyperacidity.  

Researchers in this 2017 study proved that Omidun had the highest lactic acid bacteria (LAB) count, while cooked ogi had the lowest. 

Akamu will help relieve the pain when it’s cooked. But the raw pap  can trigger ulcer bleeding and gastritis (an inflamed stomach) 

Are there negative effects of taking Pap as an ulcer patient?

There are generally no adverse effects from consuming pap for ulcer patients as long as it is not eaten raw. Raw pap can worsen ulcer symptoms, cause irritation, and even trigger bleeding in the ulcer. 

On the other hand, cooked pap can be more beneficial.  

Also, mixing pap with milk might not be suitable for those with ulcers since milk can stimulate the release of stomach acid, potentially aggravating the condition. 

Foods that are medically proven to help treat ulcers

1. Vegetables 

Vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, promote a healthy digestive system, and reduce inflammation. They provide fiber, which aids digestion and prevents constipation, thereby alleviating ulcer symptoms. 

2. Unripe plantains

Unripe plantains contain high levels of antioxidants and dietary fiber. It helps stimulate mucus production, which protects the stomach lining from acid damage. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that aid in ulcer healing. 

3. Garden egg 

The garden egg, also known as eggplant, contains bioactive compounds like flavonoids and anthocyanins. These compounds possess anti-ulcer and antioxidant properties, reducing gastric acid secretion and protecting the stomach lining from ulcers. 

4. Green pepper 

Green pepper is rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin C, which helps in collagen synthesis and supports wound healing. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate ulcer symptoms and promote the healing of stomach ulcers. 

5. Wheat  

Whole wheat is a good source of dietary fibre, B vitamins, and minerals like zinc and selenium. Its fibre content aids digestion and prevents constipation, reducing the risk of developing ulcers. It also provides nutrients that support the healing process. 

6. Moi Moi 

Moi Moi is a good source of protein, fibre, and antioxidants. Its high fibre content promotes a healthy digestive system and reduces the risk of developing ulcers. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and promote ulcer healing. 

Foods to Avoid as an Ulcer Patient 


Fura da nono 

Fried foods 

Fatty foods 




Acidic foods, e.g., orange and grapefruit 

Black pepper 

Tomatoes, tomato paste 

Mustard seeds 


The bottom line

While pap hasn't been scientifically proven to treat ulcers, it has worked wonders for patients. Pap is easy to prepare and easy to digest. It's a healthy diet choice for ulcer patients.  

However, when treating stomach ulcers, a combination of medications is usually necessary, such as drugs that bring down stomach acidity (like omeprazole) and antibiotics that curb germs (think Flagyl, Amoxil, and clarithromycin). 

So pap has to be complemented with prescribed medication for positive effects. 

Meanwhile, Pap has more benefits up its sleeve! Not only can it help reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol, but it also keeps you hydrated.  

So, it's a win-win situation for your taste buds and overall health as an ulcer patient. 


Is custard good for ulcer patients? 

Like pap (Akamu), custard can be a suitable choice for ulcer patients as it is typically soft and easy to digest. Opting for a low-fat, non-acidic, and mildly sweetened custard may be better tolerated. You need to consider dietary restrictions and sensitivities.  Consult a healthcare professional for personalized nutritional recommendations. 

Is sugar good for ulcer patients? 

Excessive sugar consumption can worsen ulcer symptoms and delay the healing process. High-sugar foods can increase stomach acid production and irritate the stomach lining. Instead of taking sugar, follow a well-balanced, low-sugar diet recommended by your doctor. 

Is ogbono soup good for ulcer patients? 

Ogbono soup is made from ground ogbono seeds and is generally not recommended for ulcer patients. It is a rich and spicy soup that may be too heavy and irritating to the stomach lining. Ulcer patients will heal better when they stick to soft, non-spicy foods that are easy to digest. 

Is egusi soup good for ulcer patients? 

While egusi soup is a beloved dish in many households, it may not suit individuals with ulcers. The richness and flavors of egusi soup can be too heavy for ulcer patients, potentially causing discomfort and irritation. If you have an ulcer, choose lighter, non-spicy options that promote healing and ease digestion. 




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